United States District Court, D. Kansas
Crow, U.S. District Senior Judge
case is before the court for the purpose of screening
plaintiff's pro se complaint and two recently
filed motions to amend the complaint. The court proceeds
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Pro se standards
pro se litigant's pleadings are to be construed
liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). A pro
se litigant, however, is not relieved from following the
same rules of procedure as any other litigant. See Green
v. Dorrell, 969 F.2d 915, 917 (10th Cir. 1992),
cert. denied, 507 U.S. 940 (1993). A district court
should not “assume the role of advocate for the pro
se litigant.” Hall, supra. Nor
is the court to “supply additional factual allegations
to round out a plaintiff's complaint.” Whitney
v. State of New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th
28 United State Code Section 1915A requires the court to
review cases filed by prisoners seeking redress from a
governmental entity or employee to determine whether the
complaint is frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. When deciding whether
plaintiff's complaint “fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, ” the court must determine
whether the complaint contains “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)(quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability
requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint
pleads facts that are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.
Id. The court accepts the plaintiff's well-pled
factual allegations as true and views them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. United States v. Smith,
561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009).
court, however, will not accept broad allegations which lack
sufficient detail to give fair notice of what plaintiff's
claims are. Section 1983 plaintiffs must “make clear
exactly who is alleged to have done what to whom, to provide
each individual with fair notice as to the basis of the
claims against him or her, as distinguished from collective
allegations against the state.” Robbins v. Oklahoma
ex rel. Dep't of Human Servs., 519 F.3d 1242, 1250
(10th Cir. 2008). This can be particularly
important in prisoner litigation. Gee v. Pacheco,
627 F.3d 1178, 1185 (10thCir. 2010)(“A
prisoner claim will often not be plausible unless it recites
facts that might well be unnecessary in other
Plaintiff's complaint and the motions to amend
complaint names the following persons as defendants: Pat
Collins, a member of the Board of Commissioners of Cherokee
County; Cory Moates, a member of the Board of Commissioners
of Cherokee County; Neal Anderson, a member of the Board of
Commissioners of Cherokee County; David Groves, Sheriff of
Cherokee County; Michelle Tippie, Captain of the Cherokee
County Jail; Ayrek Smith, a correctional officer at the jail
at relevant times alleged in the complaint; Amanda Phillips,
a shift supervisor at the jail; April Macafee, a sergeant at
the jail; Thomas Degroot, an officer at the jail; Kristin
Wagner, a nurse who does work at the jail; and Curtis Nida, a
correctional officer at the jail. The caption of the
complaint also lists the ”Board of Commissioners”
as a defendant. The court assumes plaintiff is suing the
Board of Commissioners of Cherokee County.
Count I plaintiff alleges excessive force and inadequate
training and supervision. More specifically, he claims that
on September 8, 2017, defendant Aryek Smith with both hands
pushed plaintiff from the back into plaintiff's cell.
Plaintiff alleges that he suffered neck pain from a
whiplash-type injury for which he received medication.
Plaintiff further alleges that defendant Smith and another
correctional officer employed excessive force by tasing an
inmate other than plaintiff. Plaintiff claims that there is
inadequate training, supervision and discipline of jail
officers which amounts to deliberate indifference to the
inmates' rights. Finally, plaintiff asserts that his
injury was not evaluated by defendant Wagner until September
12, 2017, contrary to an unspecified “excessive force
policy.” In Count II, plaintiff alleges a violation of
the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Plaintiff asserts that
defendant DeGroot shut plaintiff in a closet with him and
made plaintiff get naked while Degroot's body camera was
recording. He claims that the same happened after every court
date and attorney visit. He also claims that defendant Tippie
allowed this to happen.
makes a number of other allegations in Count II. He contends
that defendant DeGroot and Tippie have denied plaintiff
multiple disciplinary hearings in violation of jail policies
and plaintiff's constitutional rights to due process.
Plaintiff contends he was told by them that they have no
obligation to do so and that it is a waste of time.
alleges that Degroot, Tippie, Macafee, Phillips and Nida have
retaliated against plaintiff for filing grievances, resulting
in lockdowns and segregation. He claims that defendant Groves
has had plaintiff moved to a different jail. He asserts,
somewhat vaguely, that he was moved again because of
defendant Tippie. Finally, he asserts that he is in lockdown
for asking to speak with defendant Macafee and has been
punished for speaking with defendant Nida.
Count III, plaintiff asserts that the jail has an
unconstitutional policy which violates plaintiff's rights
under the Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff
claims that under this policy he has lost 33 pounds (23
pounds since transferring to the Cherokee County Jail on
February 1, 2018), but is not permitted to eat extra portions
even though he has been diagnosed with hypoglycemia. The
policy allegedly does not allow extra food portions for an
inmate until his body mass index is below 18.
has filed a motion for leave to amend the complaint (Doc. No.
10) to add Sgt. Christina Manes as a defendant. Plaintiff
alleges that on June 1, 2018, Sgt. Manes refused to let
plaintiff out to eat breakfast with everyone, mistakenly
stating that plaintiff was on administrative lockdown and
that on June 3, 2018, she made plaintiff wait until after
10:00 p.m. to allow plaintiff an hour out with general
population. Plaintiff further alleges that on June 16 and 17,
2018 Sgt. Manes was supervising plaintiff while he was
handcuffed and was attempting to open a protein shake with
his cuffs on. Additionally, plaintiff asserts that Sgt. Manes
“locked me down” for suggesting to another inmate
that he file a grievance concerning Manes.
has filed a second motion for leave to amend the complaint to
add a claim against defendant Tippie. Plaintiff asserts that
Tippie will not allow plaintiff to make copies ...